New e-voting record to stand

E-voting broke another record yesterday as 186,034 people cast their vote electronically in the 2017 local elections. The result broke the previous record of 176,329 votes from the 2015 Riigikogu election by 9,705 votes, and the 2013 local elections record of 133,662 with 52,372 votes. Despite a strong e-turnout, it is probable the record will not be broken at upcoming elections.

The reason for this is the fact the law will have changed by the next time the people of Estonia vote. If the recent law allowed for seven days of e-voting, which is how long people had this time, the coalition has decided to cut the e-voting period to just three days – the same as advance polls using traditional ballot papers.

University of Tartu senior research fellow, election behavior expert Mihkel Solvak said that recent experience suggests voter activity is greatest on the first and last day of the e-voting period. For

example, 21 percent of votes were cast on the first and 19 percent on the last days of e-voting at 2015 Riigikogu elections. The remaining five days counted for 60 percent or around 100,000 e-votes. How many of these votes would disappear were the first and last day just one day apart?

“Definitely not by 100,000 votes as that would represent 11 percent of all voters in the context of Riigikogu elections. However, we can be sure a considerable part of voters would stay away as once you make something more convenient for people, they will not go back to an older, more cumbersome option,” Solvak explained.

“How many of us would want to go back to declaring their taxes on paper in a situation where it has been possible online for some time? E-voting is a part of our election procedure and the latter should not be affected by political currents,” he added.

Minister of the Environment Siim Kiisler (IRL) explained in spring, when the government decided in favor of the shorter e-voting period, that recent ways in which people can vote are too different. “Election deadlines have been very different: we have advance polls at one time, advance polls at county centers at another time, and e-voting at yet another. People cannot understand when and how they can vote,” the politician said, despite having been involved in introducing e-voting in 2005.

Chairman of the Reform Party Hanno Pevkur said that Estonia should move in the same direction as the rest of the world and extend the e-voting period instead.

“The logic is that we need to boost voter turnout, and the first step would be to extend the voting period,” he said. “Extending the e-voting period would cost nothing, but would create the possibility more people would have time to make their choice.”

Read more Estonian news on the city site of Tallinn.
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Even though education is a matter close to the heart of Estonia 200 leader Kristina Kallas, she cannot imagine herself fighting for the post of education minister: ideas can also be realized by someone else. You just took away Postimees’ editor-in-chief. In your opinion, how is the editorial to feel? Lauri [Hussar] had to give the matter thought, and I presume he did. We talked about why he wants to go into politics. Still, to what extent do you imagine wh...
TALLINN – Russia is seeking integration in Estonia only in words, Kalev Stoicescu, researcher at the International Center for Defense and Security (ICDS) who is running on the ticket of the Estonia 200 party in the March 3 general elections, said on Wednesday commenting on the words said on the subject by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.  "Russia is the only neighboring state which does not wish -- due to its own interests -- progress in integration...
Former top centrist Evelyn Sepp admitted that she donated money the origin of which was unknown to her to the Center Party in 2006. The former politician claimed other members also engaged in the practice but refused to name names. Sepp’s confession on ETV investigative journalism program «Pealtnägija» does not come as a total bombshell. She first said that such covert funding of parties is a widespread practice in the aftermath of the Silvergate scandal i...
"In addition to our ongoing programme of passenger vessel renovations, we are also continuing to upgrade and modernise our cargo vessels to ensure that we continue to develop this important part of our business," he noted, adding that the relocation of the company's Estonia-Finland cargo route to Muuga on the Estonian side in October 2017 and the launch of the Smart Port solution in Tallinn's Old City Harbour in spring 2018 both contributed to improved ser...
During the final week of 2018, a total of 2,524 patients with viral upper respiratory infections sought medical attention, 47.5% of whom were children. A total of 210 cases of influenza were laboratory confirmed, nearly twice as many as during the week before, according to Health Board data. Over the past two weeks, the number of flu cases has quadrupled. The majority of these cases were laboratory confirmed at emergency medical departments, from which pat...
I actually think that B1 is too low of a bar for attaining citizenship. You still can't participate in Estonian society on anything other than a superficial level as noted above, so I'm not sure how you can constitute a "citizen" on that basis. Naturally there has to be a high degree of arbitrariness, and that's precisely the point — whilst B1 level might be sufficient in German or French (I understand that it is the benchmark level when applying for citiz...
Following a white Christmas throughout most of Estonia, Wednesday will see sleet and even rain in parts of the country, and temperatures hovering around the freezing point will means slippery road conditions. Early Wednesday morning, many major highways were salted or wet, but some patches were still icy, the Estonian Road Administration said. Eastern parts of the country will see scattered rain or sleet. Temperatures throughout the day will remain around...
Last weekend, Christmas Eve as well as Christmas Day and Boxing Day still ahead means that most chemist's shops are closed for five days in a row. Tallinners can still get hold of prescription as well as over-the-counter drugs in the 5 Tõnismägi St and 19 Vikerlase St shops. As doctors' practices are closed for the holidays as well, people will have to turn to the emergency room of a nearby hospital in case of any more serious health problems. In Tallinn,...
Irene Ilves, the mother of former President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, died on Tuesday aged 91. Irene Ilves was born on 6 January 1927. An Estonian refugee, she raised her family in New Jersey, on the US East Coast. She is survived by two sons, Andres Eerik and Toomas Hendrik, and four grandchildren, Juulia Kristiine, Luukas Kristjan, Kadri Keiu and Hans Hendrik, Mr Ilves wrote on social media on Wednesday, adding that she will be very missed by family and frie...